February 19, 2018
If you plan to retire soon, it’s time to think about expenses and how everything will be covered. Healthcare costs, including hearing healthcare, should be factored in. Estimates from HealthView Insights show that an American couple retiring this year can expect just over $400,000 in healthcare costs over the course of retirement, with about 4% of that being out of pocket (and most of it covered by insurance or Medicare).
These numbers are estimates and averages, so actual expenses can vary with gender, age and location. What we can be sure of is that medical expenses will probably make up a significant amount of your total budget. Housing or mortgage costs will probably be the biggest expense, with healthcare costs coming in second. If you are using Medicare, there are a lot of out-of-pocket expenses that are not covered, including hearing aids.
Being Prepared Before You Retire
There are a few things you can do to prepare and save for retirement medical expenses while you are still working. For example, if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) set up while you are still working, before-tax dollars can be used on all of your medical expenses for that year, and you can buy things that aren’t going to be covered when you are retired (like those hearing aids!). Sometimes employers contribute to FSA accounts as well, beefing up the total amount of money you have to spend on such medical expenses, and saving you out-of-pocket costs.
Even if you are not working, make things easier by portioning out money in a separate account for medical expenses so you have easy access when you need it. HealthView has estimated that the average American couple at age 65 will incur about $950 in medical expenses per month, and this number will increase with age.
Keep Yourself Healthy!
It goes without saying the better your health is, the less medical expenses you should expect to pay. Adopting healthy habits is a good rule of preventative care at any age, but can significantly reduce costs during retirement.
Not smoking, losing weight, eating right and exercising regularly are all obvious ways to improve overall health, and they also improve hearing health and reduce the risk of hearing damage.
Get moving! Blood circulation increases with regular movement, even if it’s just a walk around the block once or twice per day. Every organ in your body benefits from better blood circulation, including your ears! The delicate hair cells in your inner ear, which help to translate sound for your brain, are dependent on proper circulation for healthy function–so get that heart pumping!
We all look forward to retirement to enjoy more activities that we love–and some of those are noisy! Be sure to wear adequate hearing protection, such as ear plugs, when you are in a noisy environment, like at a concert, fireworks or in the proximity of machinery like an electric saw or lawnmower.
Hearing Health is Important!
Many Americans over 65 suffer from some degree of hearing loss, which can typically be treated easily with hearing aids. Regular screenings are key to measuring the severity of any existing hearing loss and stopping it in its tracks.
Not treating hearing loss can cost you much more than catching it early and doing something about it. If left untreated, hearing loss can worsen, causing bigger problems down the road such as dementia, anxiety and depression.
There’s good news! An annual hearing screening is painless and easy, and can save you a lot of trouble down the road!
Make a commitment today to improve your overall health by cleaning up your diet and being more active every day.
Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.